Natural Dyes!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this last week’s workshop. It was a great time to me getting to work on the dyes along with my classmates and learning about Kelp from Emma. For my natural dye I decided to use ivy as my choice of invasive species. It was the most accessible plant in my area but it actually worked out quite well.


Unfortunately, someone stole my package and I was unable to use the proper resources, but I find it amusing that the thief will open a pack of seaweed and strings haha. Regardless, we made it work. I cut up strips from an old white cotton shirt instead of white threads. I used chinese black vinegar as a substitute ingredient and it significantly affected the outcome. Not only did it completely overshadow the dye from the ivy, the wheat that is used inside of black vinegar began molding on my threads.


The dye from the ivy ended up as a yellowish green (can’t say im surprised) and i was really hoping for a greenish brown color in the end but instead I got a moldy brown lump of fabric. I will say that the vinegar was a more effective dye in the end and I was able to get some color in the fabric. 


Nonetheless, I was thinking about the possibilities of using natural dyes more commercially. I believe that from a business standpoint using natural dyes could target a specific niche of consumers and potentially expand into the mainstream market. (The businessman in me is coming through ahah). But seriously, not only is it sustainable, but also the possibilities of color are pretty endless. I do see a problem in terms of saturation and durability in comparison to artificial dyes, but the potential is there. I hope to see more fabrics using natural dyes in the future. Maybe i’ll even start buying some clothes made with natural dyes!